Robocalls Lead the Way – MEC Grievance 23-13 is Filed

Robocalls Lead the Way – MEC Grievance 23-13 is Filed

On Tuesday, November 28th, management announced that it’s unilaterally implementing robocalls to Flight Attendants when a loss of flight time occurs. Yesterday, AFA filed an MEC Grievance (13-23) based on the Company’s violation of Section 7.Q. of our Contract, as well as the established past practice, for implementation of this “NotiFlyer” robocall system.

Management calls this automated calling system “revolutionizing.” Who knew a robocall could be so revolutionary?! There must have been quite a few high-fives being exchanged over at Willis for this accomplishment.

Despite our attempts at negotiating with management over an automated notification system, management has rebuffed our proposals for implementation and call timeframes.

Moreover, our Union was not involved in the development of this new system, nor was our input on how it would operate sought. We were not involved in any testing of it (if that even took place).

We are all acutely aware of management’s dismal track record when it comes to handling high call volumes at Crew Scheduling during irregular operations. For several years now, we have collectively been calling on management to address this problem and find solutions.

Section 7.Q.1 of our Contract provides clear language regarding how Flight Attendants are to be notified of schedule changes to their pairings:

Within four hours (4:00) of being notified that a Flight Attendant has lost his/her trip pairing or any portion thereof for any reason other than her/his own unavailability for duty she/he may:

  1. With the concurrence of the Company, be relieved of all assignment responsibility with no loss of pay, or
  2. Be given a replacement pairing. Upon request a Flight Attendant will be provided a hotel room at Base for reassignments departing the next day.

Getting the four-hour clock started as soon as possible from the point a loss of flight time occurs is critical. We have previously made recommendations to management as to when this could be triggered. Starting the four-hour clock as soon as possible benefits us as Flight Attendants, however, management needs to negotiate any changes which need to be subsequently approved by the United MEC, which includes your Local Council President.

This is just another example of the poor labor relations at United Airlines. On November 16th, the United Airlines Labor Coalition notified management that we are withholding our support for the airline’s application with the U.S. Department of Transportation for the Houston-Haneda route application.

In the letter to management, the Coalition addresses the deterioration of Labor Relations at United. The unilateral implementation of NotiFlyer is a prime example of this deteriorated state.

Through the action of unilaterally implementing NotiFlyer, failing to even attempt to reach an agreement, management has demonstrated the lack of respect for our Union and Flight Attendants.

We will make our voices heard. Deck the Halls with Action this holiday travel season: RSVP today to join a picket line near you on December 14th. 

Wear your red pin every time you fly. Wear your CONTRACT NOW! Lanyard. We are United and ready to do Whatever It Takes.